We often look into the lives of basketball coaches, but have you ever really went in depth about the NCAA assistant coaches? This article is going to be all about Yanni Hufnagel who used to be an assistant coach for the NCAA.
CBS college basketball analyst Jon Rothstein referred to Yanni Hufnagel as “the college basketball version of the Energizer bunny”. Yanni was always busy trying to make whatever program he was working on better. He had a great devotion to recruiting and if the opportunity arose for him to talk to multiple people at once you would often find him doing that. He had a devotion that was taking him to the top, making him one of the country’s best young assistants.
As a 16-year-old, Yanni Hufnagel was cut from Scarsdale varsity, so during that time, he started doing local broadcasts. Ed Cohen, Yanni’s partner from years past remembered him broadcasting like Bill Raftery. Yanni later worked as a student manager at Cornel, as a graduate assistant for two seasons alongside NBA superstar Blake Griffin. He earned his first real experience though as a coach for four years at Harvard.
Hufnagel was a great recruiter. He prided himself on his relationships with the student-athletes. One of his prospects remembered that their first conversation happened over the phone while Hufnagel checked out at the grocery store. Although this student decided to go with a different school, Hufnagel left a great impression on him by the visits he paid to the school.
Hufnagel coached last season at Vanderbilt but was offered a job with the New Golden Bears which he jumped on. Hufnagel was very surprised by the job offer. He hoped that his leap into this new job would push him forward in his ultimate pursuit. His main priority though was to help Coach Martin win at Cal.